For a couple of years, I've wondered why I didn't have a review of Orange Tree . . . so I finally got over there again to see . . . now I remember . . . of all the high-dollar, over-rated, nuthin' courses in Phoenix, this is the most . . . It's totally flat, lacking even the Panksian interests of mildly elevated tees and greens . . . the main defenses are soft fairways and grainy greens with whorls of bermuda that don't run smooth nor true . . . the fairways are sorta narrow in places, with either orange-tinted condos or to-be-honest magnificent mansions crowding the field of play . . .
it was heinously hot, even by 10 am, and humid by PHX standards, so maybe I am just a cranky duffer with unrealistic expectations, but then again it could have had something to do with the 6 hour round, too . . . I had a 40 on the front 9, but the tedious pace in the heat & humidity and the grainy greens took their toll on the back 9, lost my concentration and ballooned up to a 47, for a total 87, no birdies, 6 missed birdies (5 on the front9), one blow-up hole on #12, where I took a 7 with 2 balls in the water, trying to hit a miracle shot over a willow tree after I pull-hooked left of the green, in frustrato-rage . . . I had developed some sort of uncompromising giant hook by the back9 that kept getting me into trouble, then when it betrayed me when I relied on it, like on #16, I wound up pin high in 2, behind a tree and a bunker.
So I finished weakly with a double bogey on #18, which I would have to say is the most interesting hole on the course -- certainly better than the #1 handicap, straight-away, short par 5 #2 -- in that the water on the left takes the driver out of my hands . . . so trying to smooth a 5wood without hooking into the water, my magna-hook betrayed me one last time with a power fade that caught up in the trees on the right . . . I hit a spectacular punch-half-3iron out of the trees that faded just right, came up just short of the water on the left 60 yds short of the green. My half-wedge came up inexplicably short of the front pin, my aggressive par-Texas-wedge wiggled well past the hole, and I missed the come-backer.
I won't demote it, but it's a very low 3, compared to the rest in the class.